Poster Children New World Record Tour 4

April 15 - Jim's Birthday.

Friday, April 16, Jacksonville, FL

OWWWW..... I spent all night last night tossing and turning and whimpering because the side of my face is all swollen and kills. It feels like someone shoved a knitting needle into my gland under my neck. Around 6am I finally broke down and took an Advil and promptly fell asleep. I woke up to The Maid pounding (same one?) on the door for another 15 minutes. I believe perhaps the problem is with my ear. It's all pressurized and kills like I'm landing in a plane. Although, my jaw is swollen and throat hurts on that one side. I am going to take some pseudofeds now to try to open up my ear and relieve the pressure in it. It's not excrutiating anymore, but it's vastly uncomfortable.

There were police everywhere as we were leaving Atlanta, and we were trying to figure out why, when Rick noticed in the paper that today begins "Freaknik" in Atlanta, which, to my understanding, is a bunch of black people come from all parts of the country to Atlanta and scare all the white people out of the town. I suppose all the scared white people go to Alabama and burn black churches or something. Please excuse my midwestern humor. I am unaccustomed to racism; in fact, we were the only white people in the amazing restaurant we ate at yesterday and from one of the stares I got, I had to wonder what the racist factor is in that area.

Jack Rabbits - GREAT Jacksonville Club

This was a pretty fun show, and this promoter is an absolute Doll. He used to work with Harlan, a promoter in San Diego who is also an absolute Doll, and then he moved out here, the opposite side of I-10 (oops, I'm wrong about this. San Diego is I-8), across the country, to care for his sick parents. I think that is so nice. His dad works at the club now too and we got to hang out with him and talk. His dad swore a lot - I think he felt like he'd seem cooler if he swore. Or maybe he just swears. I don't know. Everyone thinks the Dad is cool. Anyway, we had a lot of fun at this club, talking to the promoter about shows and how to build a better club, etc. He really, really wants his club to succeed. He also wants to make it more like The Casbah club in San Diego too - I thought that was neat, since it's at the opposite end of I-10. The audience was really nice, at this club, and looked a bit lively as we played. The show was well promoted! Really fun night!

pics of howie and jim as we played - i have some empty measures at the beginning of Accident Waiting to Happen so I can take pictures!

Saturday, April 17, Gainsville, FL

Well, I spent the entire set of the great opening band, "Dirty Poodle," in the van, screaming in pain from my ear. Rick was sitting in the van with me, terrified. He wanted to know if I should go to the hospital or not. I didn't know, until it started feeling like my ear was bleeding; and then I knew, there had to be something very wrong, and that the hospital would see it; it had to be obvious. I became sure they'd be able to fix it.

So we played the show - I don't know how I made it through the last two shows, I just went on the stage and hoped that little button that switches on in my head would switch on and I'd feel no pain - and it worked each time, although I think my voice was very shaky tonight. I think I started crying when I said "Hello, we're Poster Children" and we started the show. Afterwards we went to the hospital.

The doctor at Shands Hospital was very impressed with what my inner ear looked like. So impressed that he showed Rick. He also had a student doctor come in and look at it. I apparently have "Otitis Media" - they wrote it down for me. My good ear has an eardrum that looks like a pearl - shiny and healthy. My bad ear has an inflated bright yellow bubble with blood spots on it. When the doctor first looked in my ear, he said, "Well, that's gotta hurt." When the student doctor looked in my ear, she said, quietly, "Oh my GOD."

Sunday, April 18, Orlando, FL

This day for me is a haze of throwing up. I think the doctor thought he was doing me a favor by prescribing me narcotic pain killers - "I only prescribe these to 5 out of 50 people who come in here with ear infections - you're gonna need this." But I can't take narcotics. My stomach doesn't work with them. I threw up everything I tried to eat today. I have tons of drugs I'm supposed to take, mystical $8 penicillin pills that come in cardboard, big special decongestant pills, and the evil something-"codone" pills that apparently are there only to make me throw up. They sure don't make me feel very good. But then there are the best ones - the magical ear drops that numb my ear. Those are good. I like those.

The Orlando show was early. It was at the nice Sapphire Supper Club in Orlando. I like the Orlando scene - we have had great shows there. Tonight, there weren't many people, but the people DANCED!!! That made us feel so great. It's so nice to see people actually reacting to the music as if they can actually hear it.

I can't stand up for more than about 15 minutes at a time before I start getting all shaky and sweaty, so I couldn't really talk to people after the show.

This is all just a great testament to what adrenaline can do for you. I must get a huge adrenaline rush before each show, and it lasts for the whole show and then afterwards I collapse and there's nothing to help me through "real life."

ADDENDUM: I'll be mad at myself if I don't mention that Tim Bowers from DC came out to these past two shows - it was very awesome to see him. Jim and Howie went out with him to some male strip club, tonight, I think. They say they didn't, but I think they did. (haha. :)

Monday, April 19, Tallahassee, FL

Jim Rocks out in Tallahassee

I'm still in terrible pain now, but now it's the left side of my head; different parts of my skull. My ear doesn't hurt that much - just feels plugged up. I called my dad and mom and asked them what to do about the drugs - dad's a dentist, so he knows about these things - he said, "DON'T TAKE THAT CODONE STUFF!" and also, take only half of the decongestant. DUh.. I never thought of that! So I've only taken a half a decongestant, and my ear is draining and it's still hard to focus my eyes pointing the same direction. I must have been really out of it yesterday!

and I haven't thrown up once today. hurray.

but I can't write too much cuz it hurts

Tonight was an almost impossible show to play. The opening bands were pretty amazing - first Marcus (from the listserv)'s band played - they are called The Grand Pricks and they had an incredibly strong female vocalist. They sounded very metal to me - with a lead singer with huge dreadlocks. She sang very metal-ish riffs! I was thinking, well, this is a huge departure from the cutesy little girl singers we've seen for a while - it's kinda cool to see something different! But then right after those guys left the stage, another band with ANOTHER strong female vocalist - again sort of metal but the riffs weren't as metal - took the stage!! It was like the exact same style of singing! This girl was smaller and had sort of a sexy slink about her instead of the first girl who was very buff and strong. But, both were strong, and both were sexy in different ways. (Good thing I'm a girl writing this, huh? I'd probably kill any guy who wrote something like this about me.... or maybe not. I don't know...)

For some reason today I could barely even stand up straight the whole day. SO I could barely keep myself up while we played. I swayed back and forth like I usually do, but I felt totally lost. I hit Rick a couple of times. It was pretty bad. I think I played ok, but I can't tell what my voice is doing because I can't really hear the same notes out of both ears. I'm starting to think now that losing my hearing in one ear might be really bad.

My head is throbbing like a metal pole is being rammed through my skull, and the only thing to calm me down is hearing the ocean roar in my ear - I'll lay down on my side and then hear this massive tidal wave and then about a minute later a tiny bit of hot liquid will ooze down my ear canal and if I wait long enough, I'll be fortunate enough to feel it drip out of my ear. That's the payoff.

In fact, as I was waiting for the Ear Payoff today while laying in the van I looked out at the sky from the window - I could see bright blue beautiful sky and huge green leafy trees. I was thinking it's so beautiful in the southeast. Then later on tonight, in the club, everyone was whispering about an argument going on outside. It had been going on for like an hour, I guess! SO I had to go outside and check it out. The change was amazing - outside where the blue sky had been it was black outside and the air was grey with this strange burning plastic smell- or more like the smell of too free electricity outside in the night, electricity that is somewhere it shouldn't be. Anyway, these two guys were yelling at each other. One was holding a clipboard or a backpack or something. I kept thinking I'd never seen a live argument before like that, where someone was carrying something and yelling at the same time. I had no idea what these people were yelling at each other for, either. One was the club owner I think and another was an employee? It sounded to me like they were just yelling straight lines at each other like in a cartoon. I was totally tripping out on decongestants though. Who knows if any of this happened.

We worked ourselves into hysterics today in the dressing room, because Jim devised a new comedy skit. He hangs his watch keychain on his nose or mouth, like a nose or lip ring, except with a huge watch hanging off it - and then deadpan, in a total stoner voice, comes up to us and sticks out his hand to shake and says "Hey man, I really liked your show tonight." Either Rick or Jim - can't remember which one, says, it's PostModern Piercings.

"Hey, man, like, I really enjoyed your show, you know?"

Tuesday, April 20, Pensacola, FL


The wind temperature is probably around 60 degrees - or maybe lower - but the GULF IS WARM!! SO I went SWIMMING in my favorite body of water - the Gulf of Mexico, off the west coast of Florida. On a sugar white beach. In my clothes.The waves were incredibly intense and there was a very strong wind blowing. I jumped the waves for almost an hour! I loved it! What a great day!!

Tonight is Sluggo's. For some reason I'm expecting no one to show up here, but there are people coming to the door. I primed myself for the southeast, knowing not to expect much, but now I'm starting to lose it. And it's not really been as bad as it could have been, really. There were a couple of shows that filled up more than we'd expected.

My eardrum hasn't popped yet, either. It's smaller now, and hardly ever hurts; it's just something I can feel living in my ear. I hope the whole infection just goes away; I certainly don't have the money to be going to the doctor continuously... ughh...

Pensacola Audience

Ugghhhh.. why did we go on around 1am again? Who let this happen? And now with my ear plugged up, I can hear the voices in my head better than the ones in the real world, and let me tell you, this is a PROBLEM. Because I'm PARANOID. I heard all kinds of muttering and screaming while we were playing, and I know it wasn't coming from the real world. And it seemed like most of the audience left while we played - can't blame them, at 2am on a Tuesday, can you? Anyway, a lot had come to see the opening band, who didn't stay for our set because they were all having an argument with each other. One of the people who came to see us notified us that he'd only found out about the show tonight, and had he known sooner, he could have told more people. The stand-in promoter for tonight told us that they'd only received our fliers that day. (I guess they couldn't have made up any of their own for the time being.) He was very nice - he said, "Please come back again; we can do better than this for you."

Then I looked at my webpage at the tour dates. Guess what I've got for April 20th - a big fat QUESTION MARK on that day, instead of the place we're playing. MORON.

Wednesday, April 21, Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge Audience Is Great!

I'm on no sleep. I sweated and tossed all night, imagining that I was shovelling caffeine into a giant monster sweat gland that was waiting to eat me. The "magic" penicillin pills cause me to wake up with sweat covering every inch of my body; I've never experienced that before. I have to have a clean shirt and a towel near the bed for the middle of the night in order to clean up some of the water. Although I feel like I'm getting better now because last night was the first night I didn't have to actually prop myself up with my arm while I was brushing my teeth.

I was looking so much forward to this show, because I know that we have these magical shows in Baton Rouge. Well, we had 1 so far, but it was so magical that I thought that would return. There was a great number of people here tonight - over a 100 - in the club and everyone was so excited! Word around town was that we are a great band and that people should come out and see us - and they did! There were Poster Children posters up everywhere, and the club's calendar has a big picture of Rick on it! It's like were The Beatles or something. It's some kind of alternate universe, and I love it.

For dinner we searched for this Harvest Moon vegetarian restaurant that we went to last time we played here - it was this shack in the middle of nothing else - it looked almost haunted from the outside, I remember from last time. Anyway, we found it this time - no cars outside again, and it was closed. There was no sign of life. I said "This place was never open!" And you know, I cannot remember what I ate here. Howie told me I ate a Portobello Mushroom - now there's no way I would have eaten a Mushroom without being forced to. UNLESS IT WAS some kind of VOODOO!! Why else would I have eaten a Mushroom? Howie said, "Don't you remember ANYTHING about that meal?" Now this is a total making for a great voodoo band story - it is Lousiana for chrissake.

This causes Rick to go into a long spiel, in an old man's VERY VERY HIC, country storytelling voice, with short pauses in between each sentence: "Thar's an old stary about a bayand that comes around once a yeayar. (pause). Thay driv a ghostly white vayn, and it is sed that thay eit har in this restaurant.(pause). Thay drahve around lost, for many, many hours, looking for food, looking for a place that will satisfy thayr hunger, it is a hunger that will never, ever go away." Now Howie is driving the van madly around, up and down the streets, looking for a restaurant, while Rick just continues blabbering from the back seat, still in the old man voice, "Thay drahve and drahve and drahve, but thayr hunger eats away at them, in thayr ghostly white van. (pause)But it is sed that thay ahre doomed to never fahnd an open restaurant" I am in hysterics, grabbing my side and my ear, laughing so hard I'm crying in the back seat, trying to make Rick add an Angel Heart spin to the story, that the reason we are so popular in this town is that we unwittingly sold our souls for popularity in this restaurant, but I'm laughing way too hard to even talk. And I think Rick thinks it's funny to just keep each sentence short and to the point. "Thay drahv around searching, to feed thayr hunger. (pause). Thay thank they are steel alahve. (pause). But thay are daid."

The show was almost impossible for me to play because when I'm onstage now during the set it sounds like I'm trying to play with the band from the bathroom, with the door opening and closing. With my head stuck down the toilet. (Damn, I knew I'd get another Pynchon reference in there! WOOHOO!) The sound and pitch of everything changes with every move I make. I don't want to let these people down. I hope we didn't.

I got a poster from the show - complete with one of the greatest opening band names I'd ever heard of - "Girl Scout Heroin." They were terrific as well - and they had this one song that they could have played for about an hour and I still wouldn't have gotten sick of it.